State of Illinois releases proposed redistricting maps

State of Illinois' Proposed Redistricting Map
State of Illinois' Proposed Redistricting Map(Colin Baillie)
Published: May. 26, 2021 at 5:03 PM CDT
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CARTERVILLE, Ill. (KFVS) - State political districts in Illinois could soon look different.

We’re getting our first look at the redistricting proposals coming out of the 2020 census.

If you live in southern Illinois, you may end up with a different lawmaker representing you in Springfield.

“Well this was inevitably going to be controversial,” said John Jackson with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “It’s always controversial every 10 years Democrats and Republicans have a big fight.”

Jackson said the party that controls the legislature and governor’s office redraws the redistricting maps. Currently, that is the Democrats.

“In the 1990s, the Republicans had complete control, so they wrote their own map. Democrats hated it. Since 2000 the Democrats have been in charge,” said Jackson.

So that means the Republicans are the ones calling for transparency.

“Transparency thing is what people have asked for, whether they’re Republican, Democrat, Independent and that’s the thing we’ve been advocating for that we haven’t seen,” said Dave Severin, representative for the 117th District in Illinois.

Under the proposal, Severin’s 117th district will be larger geographically, but with a similar number of constituents.

“It will never make any difference what county it is, or what city it is, the difference that it always going to make is that we care, that we’re working hard and that we’re looking to move forward, give people a reason to stay in southern Illinois, give people a reason to come to southern Illinois that’s our challenge everyday,” Severin said.

His Republican colleagues Patrick Windhorst and Paul Jacobs say the same.

“I’m not overly concerned, myself. I know Dave isn’t, I know Patrick isn’t. We’re more on the wait and see,” said Paul Jacobs, state representative for the 115th District of Illinois. “We would of loved to seem have transparency. We would’ve loved to wait until the census data got in, but that’s not going to happen.”

This is a concern that Windhorst has about the maps.

“They’re not using the official census data; they’re using American Community Survey data, or ACS data, which is not as accurate as the official census results,” said Patrick Windhorst, state representative for the 118th District of Illinois.

But Jackson said redrawing districts is under deadline.

“The answer is partisan, but never the less if you follow the Illinois constitution they absolutely have to do it now and they have to follow this schedule because the Illinois constitution is really very specific about these deadlines,” Jackson said.

But how would the redistricting affect local communities?

“It always affects the voters pretty substantially in that next election, because 2022 will be confusing for the voters,” he said.

You can click here to see the current district maps.

You can click here to see the proposed district maps.

Illinois Legislatures have until October to finalize the new district maps.

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